Fun and Games

Fun Tabletop Games for $25 or Less

Weirdly enough, tabletop games have gotten crazy expensive and it’s not always a cheap idea to try to go old school; however, that doesn’t mean there aren’t some newer, affordable games available, and of course there’s always the classics. I’m going to start out with some games you probably haven’t heard of, but are super creative and fun. Then I’m going to layout one or two obvious choices that, if you don’t already own, you definitely should.


While it may not be a board game per se, Hive is a perfect tabletop game for two. It’s kind of like a game of chess where you build the game board as you play. There are only 3 basic rules to this bug-themed match of wits: 1) when you first place a tile, it must not be touching a tile of the opposing color, 2) when you move a tile, it must not “break the hive”, and last but not least, 3) you must protect your Queen Bee from being surrounded – at all cost!

If you can surround your opponent’s Bee first, you win! The expansions are a blast, and I would highly recommend this game – especially the pocket version, for gaming on the go! It’s more than paid for itself (many times over in fact) in hours in gameplay.

Pixel Tactics

  • 2 Players
  • About 30 Minutes
  • Relatively Easy Set Up/Pick Up
  • $15

If you’re a sucker for card games and classic 8-bit art, why not check out Pixel Tactics? Choose your leader, deploy your team of fighters, and leverage their unique skills to bolster your offense and defense. The player with the last leader standing wins.

This card game has led to a long and spirited rivalry in our house, and this high-intensity fight-to-the-finish team-battle is a quick pick-up-and-play that will leave you at the edge of your seat! There’s also a 2 and 3, each stand-alone deck more adorable and anime-tastic than the last, so you can always expand your team if you like how it plays.

One Night Ultimate Werewolf

  • 3-10 Players
  • About 10 Minutes Per Round
  • Very Easy Set Up/Pick Up
  • $12.50

In ONUW, the townsfolk are trying to figure out who the wolves are, and the wolves are trying to avoid detection. The players are each given a card with a role; townsfolk and werewolves may have certain abilities that allow them to view the cards of other players or affect the outcome. If the townsfolk can’t identify the culprits, the werewolves win. But if they can figure out who those sneaky werewolves are, they win!

The game itself isn’t too pricey, and the free app makes it so the game runs itself. Will you find out what goes bump in the night? Or will the werewolf be you? This game just gets better the more you play and the more people you play with! There are a couple of games like it, and there’s even another version of Werewolf out there, but this is definitely the one we’ve taken to the most, and the easiest to introduce to new players.


  • 4-8 Players, 2 Teams
  • About 15-20 Minutes
  • Relatively Easy Set Up/Pick Up
  • $17

Codenames is a great game for a couple’s game night. Your board is made up word cards that are set up in rows and columns of 5, and each teammate must either give clues or guess to identify their agents on the field.

Only the clue-givers know which cards are which, and you automatically lose if you pick the “assassin” card, so take a good look at all the words on the board! There’s even a Duet edition for one-on-one play, Deep Undercover for an adults-only game night, and tons of other exciting iterations to choose from for gamers young and old, including Disney and Marvel-themed versions.

Cards Against Humanity

  • 4-12 Players
  • About 30 Minutes
  • Very Easy Set Up/Pick Up
  • $10-25

If you love Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity is its natural successor. Its tagline is, “a party game for horrible people,” and they’re not kidding; leave your sensitivities at the door and don’t forget to bring your sense of humor on game night!

These are some of the most politically incorrect answers the writers at CAH could muster, and they even provide blank cards so you can write whatever provocative, messed up, nightmare-fueled questions and answers you and your crew can think up. We dare you not to laugh! This one rings in on the high end of our $25 budget, but you can print your own cards and make them yourself at home for $10 or less if you don’t have the cash for a brand-new game. When every card is a blank, the possibilities are endless!

Dust Off an Old Favorite

  • # of Players May Vary
  • Set Up Time/Pick Up May Vary
  • If you own it already, it’s totally free!

It’s always fun to get something shiny and new – especially if you like opening up a new board game and laying out the pieces for the first time – but that doesn’t mean you have to buy something to have fun with your friends and family. What board games do you have on hand already?

Maybe there’s an old game of Monopoly, Clue, Scrabble or Candyland hiding in your linen closet. These Milton Bradley and Hasbro favorites really amp up the nostalgia value on Family Game Night. And chances are you have chess, checkers, backgammon, or at least a deck of cards handy. When it comes to tabletop gaming, what you play isn’t nearly as important as who you’re playing with!



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